In addition to Tyrion, two other fan favorite characters from the novels, Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) and Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), thankfully turned out to be examples of casting done right. These two charismatic characters will have many demands placed upon them as the saga develops, and it seems Williams and Clarke should easily pull more fans into their ranks.
Going forward, much of the series will hinge on the young characters, which put a lot of pressure on the casting directors secure the proper child actors to play the Stark children. There’s no doubt that wide-eyed Maisie Williams is the big discovery as tomboy-ish Arya, while Sophie Turner does a fine job of rendering Sansa’s princess fantasies without making the character as detestable as she sometimes is in the book. On the older side, Richard Madden, Kit Harington and Alfie Allen hold their own with the more experienced performers.
For the most part, the casting for Game of Thrones is off to a great start. Maisie Williams as Arya Stark and Isaac Hempstead-Wright as Bran Stark were especially good. All too often the presence of children is a detriment – see The Phantom Menace – but these kids uplift the show with their presence.